Transforming addiction recovery by using gratitude techniques can change someone’s life completely. As a part of mindfulness, gratitude may even be the most powerful practice.
Understanding Addiction Recovery
To understand the best way to treat addiction and begin addiction recovery, you first need to understand addiction itself. Once an individual better understands what addiction recovery will mean to them, they can begin researching Long Island rehabs.
Addiction is a mental health disorder that involves an individual becoming unable to regulate or stop the use of a particular substance. Addiction causes significant changes not only in the way the individual’s body operates daily but also in how their brain becomes conditioned to reward them for the addictive behavior.
This results in a person that has developed a powerful and obsessive compulsion to use a substance, has lost all control over the moderation of its use, and is continuing to use the substance even in the face of negative consequences, danger, and even injury.
Gratitude is a New Way of Thinking and Being
Gratitude is seen as one of the core foundational tenets to follow to facilitate the creation of happiness. If an individual is grateful for what they have and what they’ve been given, it can make the road to recovery much more optimistic and less vulnerable to potential relapse. This is a major reason why integrating practices of gratitude with individual therapy and counseling in addiction treatment programs can make the recovery effort itself much smoother and more effective.
The effects of maintaining a positive outlook have been well-documented, and are known to offer significant aid in leading a life centered around recovery, healing, and personal growth. For individuals struggling with substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or other addictions, there is often a tendency to dwell on unpleasant emotions or feelings, many of which are largely self-centered or egotistical.
Gratitude creates a whole new way of thinking and being for someone in addiction recovery. It helps them to become less selfish and take more satisfaction from their choices while becoming more optimistic and maintaining a more cognizant control over their emotions and lives as a whole.
5 Ways Gratitude Can Transform your Recovery
While there are countless potential ways in which gratitude can positively impact an individual’s recovery, we’re only going to dive into five ways here. One of the great things about practicing gratitude is that once it begins improving your life, you can then more deeply examine all the ways that gratitude has improved you, personally.
Counting Your Blessings Changes Your Perspective
Many people tend to focus on the negative aspects of their life, and this is particularly true for those in recovery. By staying focused on the negatives in life, even if focusing on overcoming them, the mindset stays locked on the negative.
By counting your blessings you are taking an active inventory of all of the good things in your life, forcing the brain to focus on those things instead. Doing this consistently can help retrain the brain to maintain a more positive mindset and optimistic perspective. One easy way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal.
Being Thankful Boosts Your Mood
According to Harvard Health, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. These are all things that are crucial for a successful recovery from addiction. You will need to learn to cherish truly positive experiences, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships. Stronger relationships will strengthen you and provide support to get you through those rough patches as they come.”
This means that practicing gratitude can help an individual feel increased numbers of positive emotions. Greater levels of happiness are observed in those in psychology research who are demonstrating or practicing exercises of gratitude.
Gratitude Makes You More Positive
Not only does gratitude elevate the individual’s mood, but it helps to unshackle the brain from negative emotions. This leads to a shift in attention away from the more toxic or negative aspects, and toward more positive and encouraging aspects. Preventing the rumination of negativity helps positivity to bloom.
Showing Appreciation Improves Relationships
There has been research conducted that has shown that couples who express gratitude for their significant other experience greater releases of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”. This results in a greater bond and connection between them.
While this can be a significant benefit, it can seem difficult to express gratitude consistently, and in a meaningful way. To make sure your gratitude has the greatest effect, share your compliments out loud, make sure you help your partner and give them a break now and then, get the kids in on being thankful, and express your gratitude even when they aren’t around.
Gratitude Reduces Stress
When you practice gratitude, it causes the release of both serotonin and dopamine, two of the strongest “feel-good” neurotransmitters that our body can create. This provides an immediate reduction in the short-term effects of stress and can be enough to let us catch our breath and prevent more serious emotional conflict from taking root. Practicing gratitude consistently, lower stress, and improving the individual’s emotional state can promote a beneficial mental health state. Grateful people also have better physical health overall, which reduces stress even more.
How Gratitude Measures Spiritual Welfare
One of the best ways for someone in recovery to stop and take inventory of their spiritual welfare is to think about their recent practices in gratitude. Those who can incorporate an attitude of gratitude into their daily life are much less susceptible to the effects of the negative emotions that we all feel from time to time. This makes the role of gratitude in addiction recovery largely one of building resilience to relapse.
Getting Started with Gratitude in Addiction Recovery
If you or someone you know could benefit from incorporating gratitude techniques into their recovery, contacting Long Island Rehabs can help you find the right treatment facility for your needs. You can find centers that focus on holistic practices like gratitude, mindfulness, and meditation so that your recovery has the best chance of success.